Rooted in the values that Saint John Baptist de LaSalle preached, leadership practices are one of the most encouraged ones on Lasallian institutions around the world. Manhattan College is not the exception and, although is a common word spread around the student body, faculty and administration, many of them have no idea about what this concept means.
This is why this year a group of leader administrators around the campus from offices including (but not limiting to) Residence Life, Multicultural Affairs and Fitness, Wellness, and Recreation formed a series of conferences that explain, from different points of view, the idea of being a leader.
AJ Goodman sat in his office in the 5th floor of Thomas Hall as he explained what is his conference based on and what he wants to achieve through this program.
“I want to explain to [students] what being a good Lasallian leader is through the 12 values preached by our founder,” Goodman said. “A lot of it is just what good, successful leaders on campus but maybe they don’t have the language to say it like ‘yes, this thing that I’m doing is actually Lasallian.’”
La Salle was once a normal man who had enough leadership to find an opportunity area and do what he could to fill a gap in his society: quality, inexpensive, private education, Goodman said.
“Some of the things that we’ve seen are that students go out and apply for the RA position or they try to be club presidents and they get into it because they know they want to be in a leadership position but they haven’t really thought about what that means,” he said.
From the perspective of the Office for Career Pathways, leadership is more based on discovering who a person really is and what qualities, may be hidden within oneself, are valuable to the community he or she lives in.
“Having students know that they have a voice and showing them different options to say ‘Wow! I could really be an RA [Resident Assistant]’ or ‘Wow! I could run for Student Body president’ and I didn’t knew that until I started listening to these workshops I think it’s great,” said Meghan Makarczuk, assistant director of the Center for Career Development and one of the speakers featured in the program schedule.
Although the program is mainly designed to help underclassmen get involved in different clubs and programs MC offers in future leadership positions, everyone can take advantage of the conferences that will be offered in the Kelly Commons starting next week.
“A student might think ‘well, I am already a leader so I don’t have to do it’ or they might think only in one type of leader,” Makarczuk said. “But this program is designed to tear down those barriers and invite students to be successful with themselves and really see what this school can offer. Sometimes what you learn outside the classroom: extracurricular classes, clubs, sports… are the things that will surprise you with how far they can take you.”
But for John Bennett, director of Student Engagement, this program has a different goal compared to the one of the office for Career Development.
“This is a pilot program born out of the leadership weekend that happens at the beginning of every spring semester,” said Bennett. “Although it’s open to the whole community I would imagine that it has more benefit to the type of student who hasn’t made their niche here yet, those who still looking to made Manhattan College their home.”
The series will start on September 13 with Michael Steele as the presenter for his conference “Five Exemplary Practices of Leadership” in Kelly Commons 4A, and following ones will repeat until November 30. Students can receive an introduction leadership certificate by attending one of the seven topics offered according to their website